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(Duluth News-Tribune)   City commissioner -- who said he would support slavery if his constituents voted for it -- now tries to get out of trouble by playing the diabetes card   (duluthnewstribune.com) divider line
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7206 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 11 Apr 2007 at 8:38 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2007-04-11 8:42:14 AM  
 
2007-04-11 8:44:43 AM  
Brad_Will wins. Just don't post.
 
2007-04-11 8:46:43 AM  
I refuse to abandon this thread until Diabeetus cat is posted.

That is all.
 
2007-04-11 8:47:23 AM  
This is what happens when elected officials live in their insulin society, losing touch with how important their words and actions are to slaves and former slaves.
 
2007-04-11 8:47:28 AM  
A politician will support anything if their constituents vote for it. It's why politicians are hated universally, when all they're trying to do is make us happy.

/ poor little fellers
 
2007-04-11 8:48:17 AM  
TFA:

Slavery comment prompts apology
Lee Bloomquist Duluth News Tribune
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Facing a controversy that has mushroomed beyond its borders, the St. Louis County Board is apologizing.

On Tuesday, the seven-member board, meeting in Duluth, voted 5-2 to develop a code of conduct and ethics policy for board members and write a public apology over slavery comments made by board members in February.

County administrators and County Attorney Melanie Ford would write the policy and present it to board members at a regular board meeting April 24 at Fayal Town Hall.

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Past story: Nelson says slavery comment taken out of context
Video of Nelson's comment
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"I don't think for a minute that Commissioner Nelson or Kron were endorsing slavery," Commissioner Steve Raukar said of a Feb. 27 exchange between commissioners Keith Nelson and Bill Kron. "But it's in the air, and it's a blemish on St. Louis County. It's a blemish on our citizens, and it's a blemish on our area."

During a heated debate over a proposed countywide smoking ban, Kron had asked Nelson if he would have supported slavery if his constituents had supported it.

Nelson, after waiting about six minutes for his turn to speak, replied that he would - if the vast majority of his constituents had voted for it.

Kron replied that he was surprised at Nelson's response.

Last week, Nelson's comments were posted on the Web site You Tube.

Nelson, a nonsmoker, said his point was that rather than impose his anti-smoking beliefs on voters, he would support the will of his constituents on any issue.

Four citizens spoke out against Nelson on Tuesday, asking for his apology.

Nelson, a diabetic, later became emotional, saying that unless he is able to eat by noon or 12:30 p.m. that he would "continue to make mistakes." Last week, when the board's meeting ran until 1:30 p.m., he confused the use of the words "indigent" and "indigenous." Diabetics can suffer from low blood sugar if they miss meals. Nelson made the remark about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, just before the County Board broke for lunch.

"If I offended anyone, I apologize," Nelson said. "But I will stand by my statement that I will represent my people who had the confidence to elect me not once, twice, but three times. I was offended that someone would draw a parallel between something that was legal [smoking] and something [slavery] that was offensive. I am offended even today that we would try to justify slavery with the smoking issue."

Commissioners Mike Forsman and Steve Raukar said they never thought Nelson was endorsing slavery.

"I don't think they were innocent remarks. ... I was there," Forsman said. "But I know where Commissioner Nelson was coming from. He was not endorsing slavery. He was trying to say that his primary job is to represent constituents."

"There was no malice intended," Raukar said. "We should start a healing process. Let's see if we can make an effort to fix it as best we can."

Raukar and Commissioner Peg Sweeney said they were upset that the media didn't bring the issue to light sooner. But Sweeney says she regrets not speaking up.

"I, too, apologize in somewhat being an accomplice and not doing anything about it," Sweeney said. "I think all of us were sitting with our chins on our chests and didn't react. I think that people want to hold public officials to a higher standard than that and perhaps a letter of apology signed by all of us and published in the papers is what we should be doing."

Commissioner Steve O'Neil moved to authorize a letter. Kron requested that the administration and the county attorney formulate a County Board conduct and ethics policy.

However, Nelson and Commissioner Dennis Fink voted against the conduct and ethics policy request.

Fink said the subject is important, but objected to it being interjected into the midst of Tuesday's committee of the whole regular agenda. A County Board workshop would be a more appropriate place for discussion, Fink said.

Nelson called the debate "'theater," and said he would support a letter of apology, but only if he is able to first review it.

"I think this is worthy of bringing back to the board," Nelson said. "But it's not something we had to bring up today because somebody said something."

The Web site posting, said Nelson, is an attempt by some to discredit him because of his opposition to county labor contracts that he says don't address health-care costs; his position on a county-based health-care purchasing proposal; and all-terrain vehicle designation within the Cloquet Valley State Forest.

"There are people out there who have agendas who are pushing them at all costs," Nelson said. "They have exacerbated a bad situation."
 
2007-04-11 8:48:26 AM  
I am a slave to ciggarettes. I will be allowed to say ANYTHING about ANYBODY because I am hopelessly addicted.I will be allowed to call anyone anything unlike comedians that are in the spotlight.Due to the fact that I had to quit because smokers ARE THE VERY INCARNATION OF EVIL ITSELF,I am now allowed a permenent excuse for any bad judgment or gaff that I may make in the future.
 
2007-04-11 8:48:56 AM  
I think my outrage gland has finally given out.
 
2007-04-11 8:49:56 AM  
ziphy Ok, I won't.
 
2007-04-11 8:50:24 AM  
I came into this thread and saw Wilford Brimley, and it was good.
 
2007-04-11 8:51:05 AM  
I'm in a diabetic coma and I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2007-04-11 8:51:10 AM  
Well, slavery was never "blacks only" and this politician never implied that it would be. Equal opportunity oppression.
 
2007-04-11 8:51:25 AM  
If that is the will of a majority of your constituents, and you are elected to represent them in some legislative body, then aren't you duty bound to support that position?
 
2007-04-11 8:51:45 AM  
Honestly, I don't see a problem. The politician's job is SUPPOSED to be representing the people. If the people want slavery, he should support it.

I don't vote for someone that's going to do what they think is right, I vote for someone that is going to listen to the (majority) people, and do what those who voted him in want him to do.
 
2007-04-11 8:51:51 AM  
I wish he said that he "would have voted for nappy headed slaves if his constiuents would have supported it."
 
2007-04-11 8:52:33 AM  
I'm less offended by the slavery reference than I am by the spineless populism of it. If politicians just vote for every issue based on immediate knee-jerk public consensus, rather than actually running on a committed platform and some sort of consistent ideology, why bother having politicians at all? We can just install referendum machines on every corner, and let the bears pay the bear tax.
 
2007-04-11 8:55:59 AM  
[image from img.photobucket.com too old to be available]

someone beat me to it, but who cares?
 
2007-04-11 8:56:05 AM  
Paranoia-': Honestly, I don't see a problem. The politician's job is SUPPOSED to be representing the people. If the people want slavery, he should support it.

I don't vote for someone that's going to do what they think is right, I vote for someone that is going to listen to the (majority) people, and do what those who voted him in want him to do.


Bingo. How many of the same people are biatching that Bush is "going on what he believes" and ignoring the populace?
 
2007-04-11 8:57:14 AM  
give me doughnuts: If that is the will of a majority of your constituents, and you are elected to represent them in some legislative body, then aren't you duty bound to support that position?

No, you're duty bound to factor public opinion into your thinking and make a judgment, not necessarily do exactly what your constituents say. That would be mob rule, which would be bad.
 
2007-04-11 8:57:53 AM  
He should start bringing snacks.
 
2007-04-11 8:59:06 AM  
I am trying to get a movement going to capture European-Americans to force them into slavery in Africa to jump start their continent.
 
2007-04-11 9:00:38 AM  
I think open slave trading would be a boon for Ebay too.

/what?!?
 
2007-04-11 9:01:16 AM  
We don't live in a pure democracy. 51% of the population can not vote to enslave the other 49%.
 
2007-04-11 9:01:32 AM  
Paranoia-'

See you have to 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon this one.

1. He is a white guy who mentioned slavery.
2. You must assume that he supports slavery and only black slavery.
3. White guys use to have slaves 150 years ago.
4. Those slaves were black.
5. They have decendents who are alive today.
6. There fore he must apologize to those decendents.

It's kind of a stretch and I'm sure most of the outrage is from white middle class soccer moms but you have to just go with it on this. Now let's all point and yell racists so we feel better about ourselves.
 
2007-04-11 9:05:01 AM  
Welcome to unfettered democracy where 51% of the population can take the property and rights of the other 49% of the population. Isn't American politics fun?
 
2007-04-11 9:07:22 AM  
We don't have a pure democracy. Those who have the desire to hold public office are by that desire unqualified for the office. And 30% of the population can vote the whole nation into warfare. Just perform the Voting Sacrament and Democracy will shine down from Above and make everything good.

Why do people still attend this church? What justifies your faith in The President et al?
 
2007-04-11 9:12:36 AM  
spacechicken170am

I'm sure the lack of sleep is helping me make this connection... but stay with me...

In this article it says "Nearly 90 percent of the black study participants smoked menthol cigarettes."

The headline there? "Black Smokers at Greater Risk"

Not "Menthol Smokers at Greater Risk."

I tried submitting this one, just because of that line, but apparently someone already sub'd in Tech... and I stick to Not News. I'm racist like that.
 
2007-04-11 9:13:53 AM  
The guy states that he will continue to make mistakes if he is late for lunch because of his Diabetes. Well doesn't that disqualify him for office if he isn't always sane?
 
2007-04-11 9:16:09 AM  
Githerax: We don't have a pure democracy. Those who have the desire to hold public office are by that desire unqualified for the office. And 30% of the population can vote the whole nation into warfare. Just perform the Voting Sacrament and Democracy will shine down from Above and make everything good.

Why do people still attend this church? What justifies your faith in The President et al?


The Church of Githerax you intend to create hasn't been blessed yet?

Count me in with the "meh" people who don't really see the problem with what he said as long as you take it as an analogy as he did. I suppose that's one way to win a debate. Ask a loaded question. If the answer is No, then you don't represent the populace and are just blindly and selfishly going by your beliefs. If the answer is Yes, then you are a racist.

/Nick Naylor approves
 
2007-04-11 9:22:18 AM  
give me doughnuts: If that is the will of a majority of your constituents, and you are elected to represent them in some legislative body, then aren't you duty bound to support that position?

No. No you aren't. We have a representative republic for a reason.

DreamWeaver: Bingo. How many of the same people are biatching that Bush is "going on what he believes" and ignoring the populace?

No, people are complaining that Bush is ignoring reality, which just happens to be the place where his constituency lives.

Githerax: Those who have the desire to hold public office are by that desire unqualified for the office.

But someone who doesn't want to hold office is just as disqualified. Do you have a better solution? Because I'm certainly open to alternatives.
 
2007-04-11 9:24:16 AM  
Lance Uppercut: Ask a loaded question. If the answer is No, then you don't represent the populace and are just blindly and selfishly going by your beliefs.

Saying "I'll always do the popular thing, regardless of all other considerations" isn't getting "nailed" by a loaded question. It's being an idiot.
 
2007-04-11 9:24:55 AM  
Those people are so freaking stupid.
His words were taken out of context and he should NOT be apologizing for anything.
 
2007-04-11 9:26:09 AM  
feistyALgal: His words were taken out of context and he should NOT be apologizing for anything.

Saying "I'm a populist whore" strikes me as something an elected official needs to apologize for.
 
2007-04-11 9:27:39 AM  
Was he talking to Borat?
 
2007-04-11 9:31:47 AM  
I would rather have a congresscritter who did what the people wanted than one who is obsessed with doing what he/she wants. That is the reason they are elected.
 
2007-04-11 9:36:49 AM  
I agree with him totally, we should make all politicians, city commissioners, and councilors slaves. It would make politics fun again.
 
2007-04-11 9:39:47 AM  
This is Don Imus all over again. Kron is the idiot with the non-sequitur about slavery. It has fark all to do with the right of the government nanny state to stop you from doing anything that isn't healthy.

But Nelson gave the wrong answer to the loaded racist question and now he must repent. And the media whores who cover these stories with such a conspiratorial slant never seem to stress what (hopefully) at least 51% of people know, which is that Nelson's comments had fark all to do with endorsing slavery and everything to do with being a vote whore.
 
2007-04-11 9:40:31 AM  
thumbtack: That is the reason they are elected.

No, it isn't. Unlike you, some of us are opposed to mob rule.
 
2007-04-11 9:42:43 AM  
We need to provide slave reparations. Unfortunately the 13th Amendment forbids this:

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave. But all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."

African-Americans, write your congressperson and demand the 13th amendment be repealed!
 
2007-04-11 9:44:03 AM  
Dude's an idiot, needs to look up the definition of "tact".
 
2007-04-11 9:44:21 AM  
 
2007-04-11 9:44:40 AM  
He was merely saying that he would represent the majority of those that wanted (whatever), t3knomanser, not that he'd actually DO it... he was showing the fact that he knows what he was there to do -- represent the people.

It could be black people wanting slavery (of whites)... or whatever... he was trying to convey a point.

Context is key, and some people will look for anything to get riled up about. If he was truly AGAINST slavery (like normal people are!), he could resign his post. Some people just are looking for ways to start trouble, because they need drama in their lives. It appears he got himself into some drama without realizing it.
 
2007-04-11 9:48:24 AM  
I could go for some slavery (of hot guys wearing long leather dusters, bandanas and driving motorcycles) ... Yeah, I'd enslave their hunky bods.... MINE MINE MINE -- and frankly, I'm not opposed to taking turns... they can enslave me next!
 
2007-04-11 9:49:45 AM  
Maybe slavery isn't such a bad idea. In my town, people of color have proven perennially that they are incapable of raising a decent human being. Instead, we have a bunch of shiathead attractive and successful African-Americans (sorry, nubians) who think they own the town and havn't done a damn thing that wasnt destructive to the community.

/Just saying
//You know its true
///Im one of the only ones who will say it
////nappy headed ho
 
2007-04-11 10:02:40 AM  
That was an awesome attempt at pointing out the extreme flaws inherent in mob rule.
 
2007-04-11 10:05:24 AM  
feistyALgal: He was merely saying that he would represent the majority of those that wanted (whatever), t3knomanser, not that he'd actually DO it... he was showing the fact that he knows what he was there to do -- represent the people.

I interpreted it as him saying that he would pass unconstitutional and immoral laws if the mob he represents wants it. That's not his duty as a public official. His duty is to protect the rights of people, not strip them away.
 
2007-04-11 10:15:00 AM  
Reparations?
 
2007-04-11 10:17:02 AM  
Good try BizarroHulk, but that was in the 14th ammendment.

Amendment XIII

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


And look, the word "except" is in there. Slavery is already constitutionaly LEGAL as a form of criminal punishment.
No need to vote on it.
 
2007-04-11 10:20:20 AM  
I believe this is known as the Twinkie defense.


/wait until he discovers Wookiees
 
2007-04-11 10:20:28 AM  
BizarroHulk

or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave

Read the amendment again. It prevents the slaveowner from claiming a loss for the emancipation of his slaves and suing the government. It does not forbid reparations.

Reparations are a stupid idea, but not unconstitutional.
 
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